The Lord of Heaven in the Inner Chambers: Jesuits, Women, and Domestic Christianity (ca. 1580-1690)

Amsler, Nadine (2015). The Lord of Heaven in the Inner Chambers: Jesuits, Women, and Domestic Christianity (ca. 1580-1690) (Unpublished). (Dissertation, Historisches Institut, Universität Bern / Historisches Seminar, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg i. Br., Historisch-philosophische Fakultät)

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The study focuses on gender norms and practices in Chinese Christian communities established by Jesuit missionary activity during the long seventeenth century. It analyzes how European and Chinese gender norms and practices affected each other in the context of the Sino-Western cultural contact initiated by the missionaries. The thesis consists of two parts. First, it analyzes the ways in which European Jesuits engaged with Chinese gender relations in the course of their mission in China. The study demonstrates that the Jesuits’ adoption of the Chinese scholar-gentry’s habitus entailed a partial adaptation to Confucian gender norms. The latter placed great emphasis on gender segregation and therefore discouraged direct communication between missionaries and Chinese women. This resulted in the emergence of organizational and devotional arrangements of Christian communities specific to China. Second, the study discusses Chinese Christian women's religious culture that emerged in the absence of a strong missionary presence among female devotees. It points out that Chinese Christian women created their own ritual culture and religious sociability in the domestic context, and that they actively took part in shaping Chinese Christianity as masters of domestic rituals.

Item Type:

Thesis (Dissertation)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Recent History

UniBE Contributor:

Amsler, Nadine


900 History > 940 History of Europe
900 History > 950 History of Asia




Nadine Stefanie Amsler Weber

Date Deposited:

02 Dec 2015 16:39

Last Modified:

02 Dec 2015 16:39

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Jesuits, Chinese Christian women, China mission, cultural exchange, accommodation, female religious culture


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